February 2, 2006 Subject:
I found this film to be informative and concise, though I am not in total agreement with the message it seems to offer. Laurie wasn't forced to close down her shop, rather she chose in the face of adversity to close down rather than to stand and fight. While I personally found the paintings to be in bad taste to offer for public consumption on a city street, I would have stood beside Laurie in her bid for the right of free expression. Surely there are many others like me who would have also lent their support. Unfortunately, we never got the chance. If they had chosen to give up rather than fight, we would never have heard of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X.
I empathize with Laurie and her desire to feel safer by closing the store, but all that action does is encourage the bullies of the world. It ensures that the next person displaying something 'in bad taste' will be met with even greater resistance by empowered, self-righteous bigots.
May 30, 2004 Subject:
From Abu Ghraib to Capobianco
Activist film is well-represented on the Internet Archive. This piece is one of the better examples of the genre, and doesn't fall into the rut of whininess.
The editing is judicious, and the film moves along nicely. Though some are ridiculously liberal, most of the diverse speakers make their cases well, and the proof seems obvious. In short, this film is effective in pointing out the inconsistencies and injustices inherent in shutting down an art gallery for such a nonexistent offense. I feel informed now. It's also important to note that at the time I am writing this review, the Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos, which prompted the censored painting, are still very much in the news. This is contemporary and worth watching now.
A little more backstory and perhaps an interview with the artist or the gallery's owner or the official that spearheaded shutting them down would've moved this into five star territory, but unfortunately, none of them speak to the camera in this film.